Incivility gets a footnote!

In a Family Court custody case in Maine centered around one parties refusal to follow the science and vaccinate the children, a footnote appeared that is worth reading.

We feel obligated to address the unprofessional nature of the brief filed by Michelle’s attorney. Besides engaging in selective editing of the guardian ad litem’s report, the brief does not reflect the standards of civility that we expect because it is filled with intemperate language and unsupported allegations. For example, Michelle’s brief refers to parts of Joshua’s brief as “arrogant[]” and “egocentric, self-serving, and nonsensical”; calls Joshua’s argument about the best interests of the children “slanderous” and “false and defaming”; and makes an unsupported allegation that Joshua’s attorney became “incensed” when the trial court did not take judicial notice of the CDC’s “proclamations.” This type of uncivil language is never acceptable, see Key Equip. Fin., Inc. v. Hawkins, 2009 ME 117, ¶¶ 22-23, 985 A.2d 1139, but is particularly harmful here because the parties already have a long history of strife. Attorneys should seek to reduce heated rhetoric between parties in litigation, not fan the flames of conflict.

The full case can be found at: https://www.courts.maine.gov/courts/sjc/lawcourt/2021/21me060.pdf

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